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Figure skating coach pleads guilty to reduced charge

January 16, 2013


LAKE PLACID - A figure skating coach accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Genrikh Sretenski, 50, of Clarksville, Md., appeared in Essex County Court in Elizabethtown Thursday and entered a guilty plea on the charge of endangering the welfare of a child. He was conditionally discharged and ordered to pay a fine and a surcharge.

A final order of protection was issued for the victim.

"It is important to note that this plea negotiation was done with full consultation with the victim and her father," Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague wrote in an email. "She was very agreeable to this case being resolved with a plea allocution to a misdemeanor level crime. This allows her to not to have to testify, will allow the skating authorities to investigate on their end and impose whatever penalties they deem appropriate, as the endangering charge is deemed most severe within the federation.

"Also important to note that the victim had also filed a civil suit versus the defendant which should now be easily resolved since he pled guilty and allocuted to his actions which can now be used in the civil arena."

Sretenski was originally charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a class D felony; forcible touching, a class A misdemeanor; acting in a manner injurious to a child under the age of 17, a class A misdemeanor; and third-degree sexual abuse, a class B misdemeanor. He was accused of kissing and fondling a 16-year-old girl, one of his students, in a Lake Placid hotel room in July 2011. The incident was reported to Child Protective Services in Maryland in November 2011.

The girl's family filed a separate lawsuit against Sretenski in Maryland. That case hasn't been resolved.

Sprague wrote in a press release that the case was "very emotional" for the victim.

"One day she was skating and pursuing her dreams, the next, she was in the criminal justice system testifying against a man she trusted and then she was completely shunned by the skating community which she had been practically raised in," she said. "This conviction allows her to move on with her life."

Due to procedural issues, an additional charge of third-degree assault was filed against Sretenski by Lake Placid village police.

"As part of the plea, he had to also plead to the additional count of assault third degree in lower court to satisfy the entire indictment and charges," Sprague told the News. "It was the same victim and the same incident but with procedural issues, this had to be filed in lower court and disposed of there."

Sretenski competed as an ice dancer for the Soviet Union in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, placing fourth. He has also performed with Stars on Ice, a figure skating show that kicks off its annual U.S. tour with a performance in Lake Placid.



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